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Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, announces Temporary Protected Status for Syrians

What is TPS?

TPS (Temporary Protected Status) is a temporary immigration status available to foreign nationals present in the United States whose home countries are designated by the Department of Homeland Security to be temporarily unsafe or extraordinarily dangerous.

On March 23, 2012, it was announced that Syria would join the list of nations currently designated TPS status. During the period for which a country is designated, TPS beneficiaries from that country may remain in the United States lawfully and also obtain work authorization.

TPS is temporary. The initial approval is usually for 18 months, and is often extended. Once the period of TPS is over, beneficiaries revert back to the status they had before TPS. Therefore, it is important to note that TPS is not a window to permanent residence; it is only a temporary benefit in recognition of the difficulties going on in the designated country. However, TPS beneficiaries may still apply for other immigration benefits for which they are eligible during the TPS period, including asylum and adjustment of status.

To qualify for TPS, a Syrian applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a national of Syria;
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. during the time the unsafe conditions arose in Syria;
  • Have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since that time;
  • Have not been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
  • Are not inadmissible based on a drug related, criminal, or security ground.

Soon the Department of Homeland Security will announce that it will be receiving applications for TPS. Until that time, contact an immigration attorney at the Law Office of Marcia Binder Ibrahim, LLC who can help you with this process. We can be reached at (215) 362-2478; mbi@good-lawyer.com; or g.eck@good-lawyer.com.

To read Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's statement regarding TPS for Syrians, click here.

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